Saudi teacher gives students 'practical lesson' in washing corpses

Saudi teacher gives students 'practical lesson' in washing corpses
A teacher in Saudi Arabia caused a stir on social media after pictures emerged of him teaching a 'practical lesson' in washing the dead at a local morgue.
2 min read
04 April, 2019
The teacher wanted to give a 'practical' lesson in a vital Islamic ritual [ABC/Getty]

An unorthodox lesson by an Islamic studies teacher has caused a stir in Saudi Arabia. Instead of staying in the classroom, students were taken to a local morgue to practice washing corpses.

The al-Taif Education Authority has launched an investigation into the controversial class, al-Riyadh newspaper reported.

Islamic studies pupils were taken to a mortuary to learn how to wash and dress corpses. In the Islamic tradition, the dead are ritually washed by relatives or the local community and dressed in a white shroud before being buried.

The teacher arranged for the class to be photographed, after which images of the unusual class quickly spread across Saudi social media channels.

For his part, the teacher responded that a class on funerals was included in the official curriculum. Parents who had prior knowledge of the class agreed, saying he had opted to teach a mandated class in a practical manner.

The local education authority was particularly concerned by the involvement of young children in the class.

Some social media users were outraged, saying the students were too young to deal with such a "difficult and painful situation".

Others instead said the authority should thank the teacher for giving a "practical" lesson to his pupils.

"We thank the teacher for his dedication but there are other ways to demonstrate this lesson, including using a dummy," said one Twitter user.